News Release
May 12, 2009
DEA Special Agent Douglas S. Collier, M.A.
Public Information Officer
TEL: (973) 776-1143
CELL: (862) 849-9833

New Jersey Wins National Recognition for Prescription Drug
Abuse Awareness Campaign
The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey & the Drug Enforcement Administration-New Jersey Division Takes Home First Place Honors for Their Outstanding Promotional Media Campaign

The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ) and Drug Enforcement Administration- New Jersey Division Wins First Place honors for “Grandma’s Stash”  Prescription Drug Abuse Awareness Media Campaign from the National Association of Government Communicators.

The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ) and Drug Enforcement Administration- New Jersey Division Wins First Place honors for “Grandma’s Stash” Prescription Drug Abuse Awareness Media Campaign from the National Association of Government Communicators.

From LEFT to RIGHT: Angelo M. Valente, Executive Director, PDFNJ and Gerard P. McAleer, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration- NJ Division, accepting the Blue Pencil & Gold Screen Award.

MAY 12 -- (MILLBURN) – The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ) and the Drug Enforcement Administration- New Jersey Division has been awarded first place honors in the National Association of Government Communicators Blue Pencil & Gold Screen Awards for their “Grandma’s Stash” prescription drug abuse prevention campaign.

The “Grandma’s Stash” Campaign took top honors in the Promotional Campaign Category. The New Mexico Department of Homeland Security/Office of Emergency Management received second place honors; Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority, Illinois Tollway and the Georgia Department of Transportation were given awards of excellence.

“Grandma’s Stash” was created by PDFNJ in response to the findings of the PDFNJ’s Center for Prevention Research’s 2008 Parent Tracking Study on Alcohol and Drug Abuse which found that 44% of New Jersey parents knew little or nothing about the dangers of prescription drug abuse, according to the PDFNJ Executive Director, Angelo M. Valente.

The centerpiece of the “Grandma’s Stash” campaign involved a cooperative effort with the New Jersey Pharmacists Association where over 750 local pharmacies distributed 750,000 pharmacy bags that were created with the “Grandma’s Stash” campaign. The campaign also included many Display components to convey this important information including digital billboards, bus shelter displays, bus and train advertising, two 30 second radio Public Service Announcements that were distributed to 80 New Jersey radio stations and point of purchase signage. Web banners were also created and distributed to every New Jersey Mayor, Police Chief and Presidents of Boards of Education to include on their local websites.

Angelo M. Valente explained that the campaign was created to educate New Jersey parents about the dangers of prescription drug abuse and the easy accessibility of these drugs. Valente noted that the “Grandma’s Stash” campaign educated parents that 70% of young people who abuse prescription drugs get them from friends and relatives.

Gerard P. McAleer, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New Jersey Division, stated, “The abuse of prescription drugs begins at home. The important message of securing prescription medication was delivered in a strong and poignant manner through the campaign. The DEA collaborates with PDFNJ in many endeavors and is proud of the partnership.”

“The quality of submissions this year was absolutely amazing,” stated Maria VanderKolf, NAGC competitions chair. “In addition, the expertise, as well as the number of judges, represented agencies at all levels of government and throughout the nation, was extremely gratifying. All those who submitted to the Blue Pencil & Gold Screen Awards Competition can be confident that they completed against the best, and were judged by the best.”

More than 575 entries in 49 categories were received and judged by a prestigious panel of experts and merited a total of 169 First Place, Second Place, and Awards of Excellence.

The NAGC Blue Pencil & Gold Screen Awards Competition salutes superior communication efforts of government agencies and recognized the people that create them. Blue Pencil Awards categories are designed for writing, editing, photography and published products, such as pamphlets, books, newsletters, and other related materials.

The NAGC announced the 2009 winners of the Blue Pencil & Gold Screen Awards Competition at a banquet held in conjunction with the 2009 NAGC Communication School in Orlando, Florida.

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